DEAR Ed Gutsche,
IN response to your letter (“Name airport after Mandela before Mthatha does”, March 5), I don’t think this beautiful and great city is supposed to be automatically named Nelson Mandela Bay, as if Nelson Rolihlahla Madiba Mandela is the only person or hero who sacrificed his entire life fighting for total liberation of this country.
Heroes and heroines of this beautiful land paid the price and sacrificed their entire lives fighting for a total emancipation of our people from the bondage of apartheid and white minority regime.
This price was a voluntary one aimed at defending the noble cause of equal justice for all South African people, black and white. So this automatically means that all those leaders who contributed to that cause of liberating this country should also be given recognition of their role and sacrifices they made with no exception.
Changing names and recognising our leaders should not be seen as a business transaction for international recognition or in order to get investments in South Africa. The tone of your letter suggests that Sipho Hashe’s name may not have international recognition for capital investments compared to Nelson Mandela’s, as if these names were a commodity or for capital injection.
For your information these two comrades are known and recognised in the liberation struggle of this country, so your proposal or suggestion does not make any political sense in relation to their sacrifice and contribution to liberation of this country.
This name-changing suggested was based on the relevance of the story, or history of the abduction of the Pebco three civic leaders from the PE Airport. Pebco’s general secretary was an underground MK military wing combatant of the ANC and also once served 10 years on Robben Island with other comrades like Madiba, Oom Gov Mbeki, etc.
If you do not understand the historical background of our leaders, please go to the library and get more information because it’s dangerous to have little knowledge.
Luluamile Charles, ANC activist, Port Elizabeth
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